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12/8/2009
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SAP Outlines Five-Year Enterprise Software Plan

SAP's unfolding strategy emphasizes on-demand computing, cloud architectures, flexible pricing, mobile and in-memory computing.

Much of SAP's innovation focus will revolve around flexible extensions to core applications and processes, which can be developed and deployed quickly, via an on-demand or on-premise model, said Hegemann Snabe.

Some of the on-demand products SAP is now working on include travel expense applications, supply chain, and human capital management.

SAP is also increasingly focused on packaged solutions for various industries, including high growth or rebounding sectors like financial services. Those apps will come with integrated best practices, content, and analytics.

Pay as you go models will also be available for customers as they grow with their SAP applications, said John Schwarz, a member of SAP's board. "We've already switched some customers to a term-based, subscription-based license," he added.

As for the cloud, SAP plans to let customers take a stepwise-migration approach to cloud computing. Most customers, especially large ones, don't want to make a jump to the cloud or replace all their current applications. "Customers can decide what pace they want to move into a new world," said Hegemann Snabe.

While smaller customers often lean towards public clouds, most larger customers moving to the cloud are doing that on private cloud platforms, said Sikka. "We have test systems in public clouds, but more take towards private clouds," he noted. SAP is also working to bridge clouds, private and public, bring data seamlessly between both environments, he added.

InformationWeek has published an in-depth report on new software models. Download the report here (registration required).

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